KC Light Rail

Your source for news and information on Kansas City’s light rail progress

Archive for August, 2007

Poll: “Where is light rail going in Kansas City?”

Take the Business Journal poll and answer that question for yourself.



Thanks to the Star's Unfettered Letters blog, you can leave comments on letters to the editor that also appear in the printed newspaper. We also like the fact that you can just read (or avoid) letters in a specific category, such as Transit, which will give you a nice digest of what the rest of Kansas City is saying about light rail.


Platte County suggests airport alignment

Platte County Economic Development Council's Public Policy Committee has recommended that any future light rail connection to KCI run east of Interstate 29. The voter-approved alignment also runs east of I-29 in Platte County until aligning with Barry Road, where it then runs west of the interstate, turns north on Amity Avenue, and terminates at an airport park-and-ride. The EDC committee then provided three eastern alignment variations to the Northland Chamber of Commerce Light Rail Task Force.

In last week's public forum, project consultants noted that the voter approved route was problematic through this stretch due to some of the roads being only two lanes and the existing traffic congestion on Barry Road.

Separately, a (subscriber-only) article in this week's Kansas City Business Journal looks again at a river-to-the-plaza starter route concept, comparing it to the beginnings of Denver's transit revolution. Says Scott Reed, a representative of Denver's transit agency: "The most important thing we did was we started with a light-rail line to give people the ability to see it in operation and make up their own minds." The emphasis is, of course, ours.

No comments


The City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held the light rail repeal petition again this week, missing the deadline for a November ballot. As a result, Kansas Citians will likely vote on light rail again in the Feb. 5, 2008, election, which will also host Missouri's Presidential Preference Primary. A full council vote to place the measure on the November ballot would have required a super-majority of nine votes.

1 comment

What is success?

By Mark Forsythe
The Kansas City Post

I think the one thing that every person who even vaguely supports light rail can agree on is the starter line has to be a success. Is that a fair statement? Is there anybody out there who wants light rail but also wants the first line to be a miserable failure?

This brings to mind for me the obvious question. What will constitute a successful starter line? As I mentioned in the Comments section of my previous post there are some who consider the MAX a success. But under what criteria? Ridership? New riders? Pretty bus stops? Is the MAX really that much better than the old 56 or could the same thing have been accomplished by keeping the 56 buses, adding the pretty MAX bus stops and running the route as express only? What about the 25? I think that's a pretty successful route if you gauge it by riders. Seems like there's always multiple riders on every 25 bus but you don't see any excitement throughout the community about that. You don't see some TV reporter gushing about how ridership on the 25 is above expectations. For me the 39 is a success for the sheer entertainment value. I never fail to come home with a story about someone interesting I encounter on that route. Is that success?

So maybe before we get caught up with Main versus Broadway; Touristy Frou Frou (thanks Rev) versus commuter use, we need to define what we're striving for in the first place? Let's try and avoid personal beliefs about this route versus that.  Overhead wires versus in-ground power supplies.
At the end of the first year of operation, what are the characteristics that you think would have the majority of the community agreeing that light rail is right for Kansas City?

What is your definition of a successful starter line?


Light Rail Forum recap

Light Rail Forum at Mohart Center

Light Rail Forum at Mohart Center

After a presentation (with history, definitions, introductions) and a brief Q&A, participants at this week's Light Rail Forum were asked to select destinations on a Kansas City map and where they feel the light rail alignment should run (above). Separately, placards were set up around the room asking participants to prioritize various statements about light rail (below).

Light Rail Forum at Mohart Center

During the initial presentation, KCATA Director Mark Huffer noted that if the Alternatives Analysis stays on schedule and a subsequent vote in the sprint supports light rail and additional bus funding, Kansas City could be in line for federal funding when Congress reauthorizes transportation funding in 2010. The presentation can be found here.

If you attended either session, feel free to share which route you chose and why.


Next Page »